EChO - Eradicate Childhood Obesity Foundation
EChO - Eradicate Childhood Obesity Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity based in Cambridge, MA dedicated to ending childhood obesity. Established in 2015, the foundation aims to promote healthier lifestyles through the use of nutrition education, technology, and novel, easy-to-understand food labels.
Founder and President Laurent Adamowicz established EChO - Eradicate Childhood Obesity Foundation, Inc. in 2015 with researchers and public health advocates Dr. George Blackburn, Dr. Steven Heymsfield, Eric Rimm, and Pastor Raymond Jetson. The foundation aims to create innovative solutions to combat childhood obesity and help children build healthier lives by spreading awareness of the dangers of added sugar consumption. Adamowicz and Jetson are 2011 Senior Fellows of the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. Since its establishment, EChO has created initiatives focused on decreasing the consumption of processed foods containing added sugars, a proven contributor to childhood obesity.
Board of Directors and Executives
- Dr. George L. Blackburn, director (2015-2017)
- Dr. Steven Heymsfield, director
- Dr. Eric Rimm, director
- Pastor Raymond Jetson, vice president
- Laurent Adamowicz, president and founder
In June 2017, EChO- Eradicate Childhood Obesity Foundation, Inc. partnered with Pandora Reality to release a novel diet app, "SugAR Poke", free on iPhone and Android. SugAR Poke is the first public health app to utilize augmented reality (AR) technology, helping consumers make healthier food choices with better knowledge of added sugar. The demo app scans front labels of popular salad dressings to provide consumers with real-time added sugar content by superimposing an added-sugar front label on the bottle A green label means that there is no added sugar in the product. A black label appears over the product if it contains added sugar, displaying the number of teaspoons of added sugar in the entire bottle.
Founder and President Laurent Adamowicz introduced SugAR Poke at the AR in Action Conference at New York University, followed by the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to allow for full development of the app. Eventually, the fully developed app will include all processed foods sold in the United States and a gaming component to better educate children on the dangers of added sugar.
A “Sweet Fairy Tale" is a joint project from EChO and Eureka Ensemble. It is a musical initiative aimed at educating the public on proper nutrition and the dangers of added sugar. The goal of a "Sweet Fairy Tale" is to deliver nutrition education to children, families, and young people through music with the help of our community partners: Codman Square Health Center and Daily Table in Dorchester, MA, a Boston neighborhood which suffers high rates of childhood obesity (30.4% overweight or obese) 
This creative musical piece reveals nutrition facts that are poorly understood by the general public and highlights the principles of proper nutrition in order to influence motivation and attitudes of healthy eating behaviors in children and young adults.
Research suggests that nutrition instruction can be improved through active learning strategies as well as integrating nutrition lessons into other subjects. A “Sweet Fairy Tale” will combine both by delivering nutrition education via music as an engaging way to reach a large population of children, starting from with the local Boston community.
The composition was modeled after well-known fairy tales, "Soldier's Tale" and "Peter and the Wolf", using music as a medium to introduce the danger of added sugar and benefits of healthy nutrition to children. A composer and a librettist have collaborated to create an inspired, innovative piece that uses specific instruments and musical motifs to represent characters in the story, from Maltodextrin and High Fructose Corn Syrup to Evaporated Cane Juice and Honey.
Added Sugar Front Label Initiative and Study
The Added Sugar Front Label Initiative proposes added sugar front labels displaying the quantity of added sugar in processed goods. This aims to decrease consumption of added sugar and prevent childhood obesity. A research component to the initiative will pilot-test added sugar labels to prove the ability to influence food-purchasing behavior via a large-scale study conducted at food retailers and/or public school vending machines in the Boston/Cambridge, Massachusetts area.
Principal Investigators for Added Sugar Front Label Study
- Rania Mekary, MSc, Ph.D.
- Christina A. Roberto, Ph.D.
Universal Cooking and Nutrition Education (U-CANE)
EChO - Eradicate Childhood Obesity Foundation, Inc. is an avid promoter of cooking and nutrition education for all, especially children. EChO launched the Universal Cooking and Nutrition Education (U-CANE) movement to encourage the U.S. public school system to reform their curriculum to include mandatory cooking and nutrition classes from kindergarten to medical school. In 2016, EChO - Eradicate Childhood Obesity Foundation, Inc. supported a new cooking and nutrition course at Harvard Medical School started by EChO founder Laurent Adamowicz.
- "ABOUT US". echoforgood.org. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
- "EChO Novel Initiatives to Combat Childhood Obesity". echoforgood.org. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
- "Added Sugar May be Keeping You From Getting Healthy". Her Campus. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
- Welsh, Jean A.; Cunningham, Solveig A. (December 2011). "The role of added sugars in pediatric obesity". Pediatric Clinics of North America. 58 (6): 1455–1466, xi. doi:10.1016/j.pcl.2011.09.009. ISSN 1557-8240. PMID 22093862.
- Yang, Quanhe; Zhang, Zefeng; Gregg, Edward W.; Flanders, W. Dana; Merritt, Robert; Hu, Frank B. (2014-04-01). "Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults". JAMA Internal Medicine. 174 (4). doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.13563. ISSN 2168-6106.
- "SugAR Poke, Augmented Reality for Public Health - Press Release - Digital Journal". www.digitaljournal.com. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
- "Avoid added sugar with this augmented reality app – Haptical". Haptical. 2017-06-13. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
- "SugAR Poke Diet and Nutrition App Helps to Reduce Sugar Intake". Retrieved 2017-07-31.
- Arnesto, Osmond (2017-06-15). "Portion Control Made Easy with New AR Menu App - VR Fitness Insider". VR Fitness Insider. Retrieved 2017-06-16.
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health (2015). Results from the body mass index screening in Massachusetts public school districts, 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/com-health/school/status-childhood-obesity-2014.pdf).
- Lee, K. (2003). Activity-Based Nutrition Education for Elementary School Students. Korean J Nutr., May; 36(4), pp. 405-417.
- The Influence of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Health Warning Labels on Parents’ Choices Christina A. Roberto, Diandra Wong, Aviva Musicus, David Hammond Pediatrics Jan 2016, peds.2015-3185; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-3185
- Bell, Stacey J., et al. "Is offering cooking classes to medical professionals a new trend? We sure hope so."